Thanksgiving is practically here and I couldn't be happier. Though I'm always looking forward to having my mom's delicious cooking, this year she's determined to get me in the kitchen to help with the cooking. Needless to say, I'm not too excited about that part. Because I'm going to have to step up to the stove, my list of last-minute Thanksgiving hacks is growing quicker than ever.
When it comes to cooking, my mom is easily one of the greatest of all time. Because of that, I'll always feel like food tastes so much better when she makes it. Since I'm kind of forced into this whole cooking thing this year though, I know there are a few things that can make it so much easier on me. From the smallest thing like cutting my veggies in advance to something a little more intense like how to create my own roasting rack, having my set of hacks (that I probably won't let my mom know I have) will be super helpful to making this the most epic Thanksgiving yet.
If you'd like to get in on these hacks, too, check out these 21 tips and tricks that could definitely help amp up your Thanksgiving cooking this year.
1. Use A Cooler
According to Food Network, you can use an ice chest or cooler as a fridge for your drinks to save room for your food. Likewise, if you need to keep your food warm, you can use the cooler's insulation to do that, too.
2. Add Baking Powder To Fluff Up Your Mashed Potatoes
Buzzfeed noted that adding baking powder into your mashed potatoes makes them extra fluffy because of the CO2 produced from the heat of the potatoes.
3. Use Milk Instead Of Water For Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Use to boiling to your potatoes in water when making them? People suggested simmering them gently in milk and mashing directly in the pot is a way to get super creamy mashed potatoes.
4. Use Pennies As Pie Weights
Nervous about your pie shell puffing up during parbaking? Food Network noted that filling the bottom with pennies (after lining with foil first) can help prevent that. You can also use actual pie weights, beans, or uncooked rice, too.
5. You Don't Need To Baste Your Turkey
According to Delish, basting your turkey is not a necessity because it doesn't actually produce a more moist turkey. The juices poured on top of the turkey do not penetrate the skin. However, rubbing butter on top and under the turkey skin will deliver both a moist and flavorful turkey.
6. Add Booze To Your Pie Crust
People noted that replacing half of the called-for water in pie crust with vodka is perfect for nabbing the best crust possible. Apparently, alcohol will prohibit gluten from forming and will make for a tender, flaky dough that doesn't taste like alcohol. If vodka isn't available to you, any liquor will work.
7. Use Muffin Tins To Make Your Stuffing
Buzzfeed noted that using a muffin tin to make your stuffing maximizes the crispy surface area and makes it easy to deliver single servings to guests.
8. Use A Slow Cooker For Your Mashed Potatoes
After you've cooked your mashed potatoes, Food Netwroksuggested putting them in a slow cooker to keep them warm and empty up a burner on the stove. It will also help keep the potatoes smooth and silky. Just add in some butter and heavy cream, and stir occasionally.
9. Use A No-Bake Dessert Recipe
She Knows noted that using a no-bake dessert recipe like icebox cakes or a no-bake brûlée is perfect for Thanksgiving, because it saves time and helps those who may not be known for their baking skills.
10. Peel Potatoes Using An Ice Bath
According to Vogue, you can use an ice bath to peel your potatoes this Thanksgiving. After you boil the spuds, place them into ice cold water and the skin will slip right off of them.
11. Turn Your Pie Into A Parfait
If your pie ends up coming out less than great this Thanksgiving, try turning it into a parfait, as suggested by People. As long a there's no uncooked egg still floating about, you'll be good to go.
12. Use A Measure Cup To Separate The Fat
When it comes to separating fat in gravy while cooking, not everyone has a fat separator. My mom taught me that if you don't, then you can use your measuring cup to do it easily. Just pour your drippings into the measuring cup and pop it in the freezer. The fat will rise to the top and you can scrape it off.
13. Turn Your Cabinets Into Recipe Holders
If you need a place to hold your recipes that you've typed up or printed out, grab a piece of tape and tape them to the cabinets for easy viewing.
14. Amp Up Your Gravy By Adding Soy Sauce
Buzzfeed noted that adding a spoonful of soy sauce is a great way to take your gravy up a notch this Thanksgiving.
15. Use Chicken Broth To Revive Your Turkey
Since my brother-in-law is the professional when it comes to making turkey, he told me that if your turkey is dried-out, drizzling a little chicken broth over it is a way to bring it back to life.
16. Cook From Scratch To Save Money
According to Forbes, instead of buying boxed items to make for Thanksgiving, try cooking from scratch to save money. Not only that, it tastes better, too.
17. Make A Holiday Punch
Instead of taking individual drink requests this Thanksgiving, Delish noted that you should be making a big-batch holiday punch for your guests to enjoy. That way, you're not spending a ton of money or having too many leftover open bottles of wine.
18. Wash And Bake Your Potatoes Using Your Dishwasher
Save time, space and effort by both washing and baking your potatoes using your dishwasher, She Knows noted.
19. Use Dental Floss To Lift Cookies Off Of The Baking Sheet
Yahoo noted that using unflavored dental floss to lift cookies off of the baking sheet will save you from having broken and crumbling treats this Thanksgiving.
20. Store Your Pie Fruit Properly
According to Delish, storing your pie fruit in the fridge or on the counter is a mistake that you're making. If you need to ripen the fruit before making your pies, stick them in a paper bag a few days in advance.
21. Use A Paper Plate As A Splash Guard For Your Hand Mixer
Tired of food or batter splashing all around when you use your mixer? Well according to The Krazy Coupon Lady, using a paper plate as a splash guard for your hand mixer is a simple and great fix that you can use all year.